UK businesses are losing £1.83bn in productivity because employees are using social networks such as Twitter at work.
In a survey of 1,460 office workers, commissioned by IT services firm Morse, 57% of respondents said they use social networking sites for personal reasons during work time.
The report reveals that workers spend on average 40 minutes a week on the sites. Some respondents believe that some colleagues spend about one hour a day on these websites.
The research revealed that businesses are not setting rules for the use of the websites, with 76% of respondents claiming that their employer had not set guidelines with regards to using Twitter.
"Without guidelines and usage polices businesses are leaving themselves wide open to a reduction in productivity, brand damage and security risks," said the report.
"After years of preaching the security dangers of clicking on unknown e-mails and websites, employees can unintentionally be letting their guard down when it comes to clicking on links from the likes of Twitter and other social networking sites," said Philip Wicks, consultant at Morse. "Businesses need to strike the right balance between engagement and productivity when it comes to employee usage."